Is himself about?
Sir, – Frank McNally’s Irishman’s Diary (November 9th) on our usage of “himself” reminds me of a long-gone bicycle shop in Talbot Street in Dublin called “McHugh Himself”.
In 1976 I spotted a shiny Yamaha motorcycle in the window with a price tag of £170. Knowing this to be a bargain and armed with my summer job savings, I entered the dark old-fashioned interior. My attempt to buy the motorbike caused a bit of a kerfuffle, being told there had been a mistake and the actual price was £230. At this point, from the back of the shop “McHugh Himself” appeared and said, “ If the tag says £170, the man gets it for £170.”
I drove it away. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Having laughed out loud several times on reading Frank McNally’s Irishman’s Diary about Gay Byrne being “himself”, I have only one thing to say. Frank, you’re yourself! – Yours, etc,